Sunday, August 22, 2010

Abdul is really a nice guy who just wants Peace - Critic: Mosque site picked for 'iconic' value Compares situation to al-Aqsa mosque on Temple Mount

Michael Carl
© 2010 WorldNetDaily

A man photographs the lower Manhattan building that will possibly house the Cordoba Initiative Mosque and Cultural Center in New York August 16, 2010. The project, planned near the ground zero site of the September 11, 2001 attacks in New York, has emerged as an emotional issue 2-1/2 months before U.S. congressional elections in which Republicans are trying to take back control of Congress from Obama's fellow Democrats. Reid is in a tight contest for re-election against a very conservative Republican challenger. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid (UNITED STATES - Tags: RELIGION POLITICS)

The interests behind the Ground Zero mosque plan in New York didn't just pick the location because it was a good deal, or by happenstance, according to Robert Spencer, the JihadWatch director who also has written "Stealth Jihad: How Radical Islam is Subverting America without Guns or Bombs."

"The idea here that will be widely understood is that this mosque is another triumphal mosque, another victory mosque [like] the Dome of the Rock and the al-Aqsa Mosque on the site of the Temple Mount and the Umayyad Mosque in Damascus," Spencer told WND today.

"The reason for the interest in this property in particular is its iconic status in relation to the 9/11 attacks. This is something Imam Rauf has said himself. It's not something I'm attributing to him," Spencer explained.

"In his own words he said, 'New York is the capital of the world and this location close to 9/11 is iconic.' He was happy that his mosque would be at the site of the building [where] the wreckage fell on 9/11," Spencer said.

Atlas Shrugs blogger and Islam analyst Pamela Geller agreed, saying the mosque at 45-51 Park Place represents an Islamic trophy.

"It is an Islamic supremacist mosque, in the Muslim tradition of building triumphal mosques on the cherished sites of conquered peoples. There are thousands of examples all across North Africa, the Middle East, and India. This mosque will be understood in the Islamic world as just another one of these victory mosques," Geller stated.

The opinions are supported by the fact that real estate brokers and agents report an abundance of commercial space available, some at a lower cost than the 45-51 Park location.

The Ri Manhattan Realty listed more than 40 properties that could be used for commercial or non-profit development. Another commercial agency called City Feet lists numerous commercial and industrial properties in Manhattan that could be potential sites.

The real estate reports are causing mosque opponents to wonder why, if there are thousands of square feet of more inexpensive commercial property in Manhattan that could be used for the controversial Ground Zero mosque, Imam Abdul Feisal Rauf insists that the 45-51 Park location is where the mosque must be built.

Fox News said this week that property owner Sharif El-Gamal of Soho Properties is forging ahead with the mosque, even though he also noted that lower Manhattan already has two well-established, well-attended mosques.

Spencer said the fact that part of the landing gear of one of the 9/11 planes hijacked by Muslim radicals and turned into flying bombs crashed through the roof of 45 Park Place is integral.

"This fact makes the mosque essentially at Ground Zero. It's part of Ground Zero," Spencer added.

Listen to an interview with Robert Spencer:

Spencer said mosque construction on the site will be a message to the Islamic world, a message they've seen before.

"Many thousands of churches, synagogues and Hindu temples in the Middle East, North Africa and India were demolished or converted into mosques," Spencer said.

The Cordoba Initiative, which is leading the charge for the mosque, explains it is dedicated to improving Muslim-West relations. However, another page on the site gives the details of the group's intentions of promoting Islamic law in the United States.

Spencer explains that the Muslims know the significance behind the Cordoba reference.

"Cordoba in Spain was the seat of the Caliphate of Cordoba, which was one of the governmental centers of Islamic Spain in the Middle Ages. It is a widely spread historical myth in the United States that Cordoba was a prototype of a multicultural paradise of tolerance and peace," Spencer observed.

Imam Faisal Abdul Rauf

"The reality of Cordoba was very different. It was rather a place where Jews and Christians lived as subjugated second-class citizens and never enjoyed equality with Muslims," Spencer added. "If they stepped out of their sharply defined boundaries for their status, Jews and Christians could be killed."

The Jihad Watch publisher added that there is no doubt that the Islamic world fully understands the significance of the mosque and Rauf's interest in spreading Shariah in the United States.

Mosque proponents say that the major issue is the Constitution's First Amendment right of freedom of religion. President Obama, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Florida Gov. Charlie Crist have come to the defense of the mosque, citing religious freedom.

Obama even stated at a White House dinner honoring the Islamic month of Ramadan that Muslims have a right to build a place of worship "on private property in lower Manhattan."

Geller insisted religious freedom has little to do with the situation.

"This is not about religious liberty. No one has suggested abridging the First Amendment to stop the mosque, and to oppose the Ground Zero mosque is not to oppose the First Amendment. There are hundreds of mosques in New York, thousands in America," she said.

"This is about common decency. This is a bad idea. That building was part of 9/11, damaged in the Islamic attack on 9/11. It is causing enormous grief and pain to the victims and all Americans. If this issue was really about outreach and healing they would withdraw the mosque," she said.

At the same time, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is calling for a congressional investigation of those who oppose the mosque in that location.

In an interview on KCBS radio in San Francisco, Pelosi said, "There is no question there is a concerted effort to make this a political issue by some." She is calling for a search into how is "this opposition to the mosque being funded."